of sites built with Drupal
of sites built on a shared codebase
Nestlé needed to simplify, standardize, and centralize its global digital properties.
With thousands of brand sites hosted on disparate technologies, Nestlé brand managers had difficulty maintaining, updating, and securing brand assets globally. Not only was it a challenge to standardize and govern the multiple brands, it was costly to maintain resources for each technology and inefficient with work being duplicated across sites.
Drupal, Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Site Factory
Today, nearly all (90%) of Nestlé sites are built using Drupal. Across the brand’s entire portfolio of sites, approximately 60% are built on a shared codebase — made possible by Acquia and Acquia Site Factory.
As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé is driven by a simple aim: unlocking the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come. The company traces its origins back to 1866, when the first European condensed milk factory was opened in Cham, Switzerland, by the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company. One year later, trained pharmacist Henri Nestlé launched one of the world’s first prepared infant cereals, “Farine lactée,” in Vevey, Switzerland.
Today, Nestlé employs around 273,000 people and has factories or operations in almost every country of the world. With its headquarters still based in the Swiss town of Vevey, the company had sales of 84.3 billion Swiss Francs in 2020.
With thousands of brands across various local, regional, national, and global markets, Nestlé sells everything from bottled water to pet food. But like many multinational companies, its web technology was far from centralized. The company had 2,000+ websites built using more than 200 different technologies — and each website was hosted and managed locally by different vendors.
This decentralized approach was neither cost-effective nor sustainable, given the need to maintain specific resources for all of the technology and the high rates of duplicated work across sites. The company’s brand managers found it difficult to build global solutions that could be shared across its entire portfolio of sites. Governance and standardization were nearly impossible as teams couldn’t effectively audit, maintain, update, or secure the company’s digital assets.
Nestlé knew it needed to simplify and standardize its digital properties, making it possible (and easy) for brand owners to update assets once and then deploy them across multiple properties.
Nestlé faced numerous challenges on its pathway to simplify and standardize its digital offerings. It was starting its journey from scratch, including identifying a new team to lead the charge in designing and building processes. But with little automation in place, scaling Nestlé’s digital efforts was extremely complex.
Nestlé needed a way to seamlessly share functionality across brands. To do this, the company wanted to build a shared code base for its global brands, creating a common code foundation that could be reused across sites — reducing the amount of disparate code it needed to maintain, while allowing brand managers to deploy changes to multiple sites simultaneously.
Specifically, Nestlé wanted to:
- Establish a modern web application infrastructure that included development, staging, production environment, CI/CD, and monitoring
- Minimize the risk of security and compliance incidents
- Consolidate web application infrastructure to reduce costs
- Create operational efficiencies through continuous refinements to technology and infrastructure
- Accelerate time to market through smooth deployments of high-performing websites
Nestlé considered potential solutions and ultimately selected Drupal, appreciating that it was open source software supported by a strong community. Nestlé also enjoyed Drupal’s easy-to-use editorial tools, customization capabilities, and robust feature set that allows the company to take advantage of Drupal’s advanced capabilities without needing to incur additional maintenance or development costs.
After successfully implementing Drupal, Nestlé rolled out Acquia Site Factory to deploy its global brands. Today, the company relies on Acquia Cloud Platform and Site Factory, and managers at the site level are deploying projects featuring Acquia Personalization.
Nestlé has enjoyed its evolving partnership with Acquia, relying on Acquia’s superior technology and stellar support to assist its global brands and technical agencies. Over the past seven years, Acquia’s role with Nestlé has shifted from serving as a hosting provider to becoming a full-fledged global technology partner. In fact, the Nestlé team has seen its workload reduced as a result of using Acquia resources, including technical account management (TAM), to manage projects.
Today, nearly all (90%) of Nestlé sites are built using Drupal. Across the brand’s entire portfolio of sites, approximately 60% are built on a shared codebase. Acquia Site Factory is the approved technology for building “Master” programs and the compliant-by-design solution is available to all Nestlé brands.
Working with Acquia has helped Nestlé significantly reduce its time to market by providing the organization with a final solution for CMS distribution that includes custom Nestlé modules and preconfigured hosting that is already onboarded with relevant Nestlé compliance, security, procurement, and other processes.
In the future, Nestlé plans to continue to scale its brands and markets at speed, allowing for a quicker impact on revenue growth while keeping costs within prescribed budgets. Nestlé and Acquia are evolving together through roadmap alignment and product review boards. The company has benefitted from being involved in Acquia’s proof of concept trials, and brand managers report that they are looking forward to continuing to help shape Acquia products.